The theme for today, in my personal study and development, is “contentment.”
That’s not something I’ve really cultivated in my life. In fact, if I remember right, I’ve literally said the words, “I’ll never be content.” Because, to date, my perception of contentment was that it meant you are giving up on growth. You are willing to take only what you have, and never go for more. It meant lack of ambition.
But I don’t think that’s right. In fact, I know it isn’t. There’s more to contentment than that.
For starters, it’s about gratitude. I can be grateful for what I have. I can say, “This would be enough. I am grateful. My needs are met.” I can say all of that and still build for more. Because growth is part of the command we’ve been given. Be fruitful and multiply, be good stewards, take what we have and make it grow.
I can be content with what I have. A nice house? A nice truck? Money coming in? Good health? The love of my wife and my family? Of course I can be content. God has blessed me more than so many people on this Earth.
Being content isn’t the same as being without ambition. It’s more than simply gratitude. It’s gratitude, and acceptance of the gifts and the responsibility those gifts bring. Tending to what I have been given is ambition.
I have been given money. My responsibility is to manage that money well, to tend it, to make it grow.
I have been given a home. My responsibility is to tend that home, to do the upkeep, to keep it clean and in sound shape.
I have been given a truck. My responsibility is to maintain that truck, to keep it fueled, to keep it running in good order.
I have been given writing and marketing skills. My responsibility is to build a business that can help others, that can generate income, that can serve God by serving the world.
Contentment means taking stock of what I have, being grateful for it, and committing to caring for it, nurturing it, and growing it for God’s purposes.
I am learning to be content. That’s my lesson for today, and every day. It’s not accepting what I have as all I’ll ever get. It’s accepting what I’ve been given as a responsibility, as something placed in my care.
I am content.